So, I'm looking for this short story. I read it a couple of years ago, but I have the feeling it was written in the 80s or earlier.
It is about a business man on an alien world. He is an expert in navigating the cultural mores of other species. The alien world is inhabited by haystack-like creatures that have some sort of peculiarity in how they speak. (They can only tell the truth? But I don't think that's it?). Man's old rival shows up and tries to usurp his trade partnership. There is a discussion with the two men and the aliens, where the two men try to out bid each other using their cultural knowledge of the aliens. Second man pulls out a gun, not realising the aliens are very strict pacifists.
I feel like the aliens ate from a hole in the bottom of their bodies?
It was memorable because of the way it discussed the culture, language and moral/social differences between humans and the aliens.
I enjoyed this story so much, but I can't seem to find it.
Thank you for your time!